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Can I arrange an IVA myself or do I need specialist help ?

An IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is a legally binding contract that is entered into between a consumer looking for a debt management solution and creditors who want to recoup some of the money that is owed to them. For this reason, you cannot currently set up your own IVA without the help of a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. This is not a job that you can do for yourself.

There are various backgrounds that Insolvency Practitioners may have. Some, for example, may solely specialise in this field, some may have an accountancy background and some may have a legal background. The common element that all Insolvency Practitioners have to have the authority or license to practise in this field.

According to the terms of the Insolvency Act of 1986 to get a license to practise as an Insolvency Practitioner you need to take a series of formal examinations and will need to show relevant experience. There are various professional bodies that can issue licenses here. These include:

  • The Insolvency Practitioners Association

  • The Institutes of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland).

  • The Law Societies (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland)

  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants


Your Insolvency Practitioner will help guide you through the entire IVA process. This will involve working with you to:

  • Establish your needs from a budgeting perspective.

  • Put together an IVA proposal to submit to your creditors

  • Arrange a creditors meeting to submit your proposal formally with the aim of getting creditor agreement to your IVA.

  • Set up your legal agreement if your IVA is approved by your creditors.

  • Manage your repayments according to the dictated schedule.

  • Work with you through your IVA to manage any changes of circumstance.


You will need to pay your Insolvency Practitioner to help you set up an IVA. Costs will vary here according to the individual/company that you use. In some cases this will involve upfront payments that are made to the Insolvency Practitioner to make a start on setting up your agreement.

In many cases, however, an Insolvency Practitioner’s fees will be wrapped up into your actual IVA. Here the regular payments that you make to your Insolvency Practitioner to be split between your creditors will also include his/her fees. This can obviously be a useful option if you cannot afford to pay for this kind of service on an upfront basis.

In general terms costs here will be charged in two stages:

  1. The Nominee Fee – this is charged to set up the IVA.

  2. The Supervisor Fee – this is the ongoing fee charged to administer the IVA on an annual basis.


It is important to make sure that your Insolvency Practitioner charges a fair and reasonable fee structure here especially if his/her costs are included in the payments that you make to your IVA. If your Insolvency Practitioner’s fees are too high then this could have a serious effect on how much money your creditors are actually paid. In some cases this could see them reject your IVA proposal out of hand.

Bank accounts are available for those who are on, or have finished an IVA and are struggling to open a bank account. Find out more information about IVA Bank Accounts here.
| IVA Basics | Trust Deeds | IVA and Utility Bills | IVA Case Study | Default on IVA | IVA default notice | Statutory demand - what to do | Stop creditor making you bankrupt | IVA Failure |